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House vine design

Vine Plants
House vines are not easily classified, but they may be grouped primarily (1) as for green covers and (2) for floral display. The former would include the ivies, the hedera leading, for, in the North, it does not even bloom and its leaves are evergreen. The Japanese ivy is of the same close-clinging type (although its method of holding fast by tendril discs is far different from that of by true roots in the English ivy), but has deciduous foliage of a much more sprightly tone of green. As to the flowers, only the bees usually know of them, and on from the middle of July, the results of the blossoming are obtaining in the form of clusters of blue-black spherical grape-like berries that, hanging near the naked wall after the leaves have gone, give an earnest of the fruitfulness of the green cover in the summer and early autumn.

All the colors that appear in the rose in its fleeting summer petals are here conserved and flashed out for weeks in the autumnal foliage. In sheer splendor there is no climbing plant that equals the Japanese ivy when it assumes its October garb. As met with at its best it seems as if the Artist had dipped the giant brush in a harmonious mixture of crimson and gold and touched the walls as an earnest of infinite purpose and perfection. The American ivy is likewise a vine grown for its rich festoons of tangled branch-tips and dark "fingered foliage," interspersing the varying tones of green between the earlier and later leaves while the multitudes of brown flower­buds may redden the way in July, and the liberal supply of wide­spreading berry-clusters in autumn are but incidents in the annual life of the cherished vine.

The pipewort is to be included in this class where the foliage is first and last the leading element and the strangely-constructed even fantastic "pipes" only heighten the interest in the dark-green foliage among which the blossoms hang inconspicuously as objects of floral wonderment.

The hop, while it may be loaded with fruit of its own peculiar making as the season closes, flings out no banner of bright color to catch the eye of passing insect, and therefore in its dark-green dress should stand among those plant covers that gain their place for foliage chiefly.

The matrimony vine brings us to a point in the list where it is not quite so easy to decide, for it hangs full of minute blossoms not seen by in unobserving, but fondly visited by the industrious bees, and in early autumn all may notice the orange-yellow berries like so many minute tomatoes that would need much magnification to show the close resemblance. Besides it is one of the first vines to sound the color note of spring.

If the matrimony vine be admitted, then it is only a step to the trumpet creeper, with its flowers lasting only for a short time in midsummer, and serving to attract attention to the overflowing richness of the loose foliage as it falls as a spray from the eaves. It is the sway and movement of the free vine tips, the rich texture and deep color of the trumpet creeper as a climber that satisfies, and not the scattered glove-finger corollas that only accentuate the qualities of the verdure that strives to envelop them.

The wistarias may become the bridge over which to pass from the foliage to the floral side of our groups of subjects. These lofty, aspiring climbers have a phase in their annual cycle when the
blossoms are, above all else, the most conspicuous. In May and before, the compound leaves have scarcely thought of the growing season, the flower buds have opened, and out of them come the giant clusters like skillfully arranged pea blossoms in a leafless pendant of surprising length, and hung in such profusion that it would seem as if the gorgeous, exhausting work was overdone and further growth of the ambitious vine would be impossible. But, before this solicitude has taken root the leaves unfold, and shortly the large rope­like stems are covered with foliage half formed and of a light, warm and tender hue.

Along with such strong bloomers as the wistaria must be arranged roses, although the sequence of foliage and floral advents is not the same. The colors in the rose are higher, as is red or crimson above the lilac of the wistaria, and, as if thinking it would be too strong a change from bare canes to the brilliancy of the "Baltimore belle" or "crimson rambler" in full bloom, the rose first weaves a tapestry of fresh green upon, the trellis, and then when all nature is in full leaf it comes forth with its display of blooms as a welcome to the rare arid perfect June. The individual flower is the acme of beauty in form, texture and color, while the background of delicate perfume only adds to that which already seemed perfection. No wonder that the lovers of the beautiful in nature have agreed so generally in crowning the rose as queen.

The foliage of the rose is ordinarily sparse, and for purposes of piazza screens needs to be supplemented by that of some other climber in harmony with it. This cannot be that of the wistaria or trumpet creeper, or yet of the pipe-vine, for these are all of the coarse, masculine form of plant covers; but instead something that is both delicate and substantial as the honeysuckle, with its fine, leafy stems, producing a well-disposed screen with flowers that are inconspicuous as compared with roses, and keep coming all, the season through with a fragrance of peculiar sweetness at evening when the piazza is most apt to be the outside resting place for the family.

The honeysuckles are more closely related to the foliage twiners than the clematises, for in the latter the leaves are light in tone of green, airy in form, and unless the slender stems are numerous, the shade is scant. Certain species of the clematis group are among the most conspicuous bloomers on the whole list of climbing plants, and one only needs to refer to the Jackman type in support of this. The purple and blue, and even the white blooms are truly surprising for their size, but less can be said of the fragrance. Along with the roses such climbers need to be placed at the head of the list of vines with conspicuous flowers, and without which they would lose a large part of their attractiveness and usefulness as ornamental live covers
for our homes.